Cryptopia is a New Zealand exchange that remains a work in progress, both in terms of trader support, coin offerings and trading capabilities. It’s also a target for scams, something all the coins in the world can’t fix. The Cryptopia exchange enables two-factor authentication during the registration process, which is a plus for security.
Whether you can trust your funds here depends on if they’re putting the right security measures in place to combat the threat of a breach, which is something we’re going to explore. At the very least, the exchange appears to be a target of hackers whether or not those scams are successful. In Q1 2018, users were reporting failed attempted log-ins to their Cryptopia accounts.
To say that Cryptopia is finding its footing is an understatement. If you didn’t need to contact support for any reason, the exchange would run swimmingly. But there are wallet issues involving funds becoming stuck that are exacerbated by what’s largely been inadequate customer support.
On the plus side, the exchange has gone from only a handful of coins and weak trading volume to now offering a wider selection, which based on an increase in trading volume has pleased investors.
Advantages of Cryptopia
- Accepts New Zealand dollar deposits
- Marketplace platform lets users make purchases using BTC
- Charting tools with features such as candlestick and volume. Users can also view real-time price, high/low, etc. Customize the chart duration. Users can also see the ratio of buyers to sellers of a certain coin.
- Multiple coins and trading pairs for traders to choose from. Cryptopia supports some of the newer coins that other exchanges don’t yet offer. Users tout gaining access to altcoins on Cryptopia that they can’t access on Bittrex or Binance, for instance.
- Arbitrage trading capabilities to take advantage in price differences in two or more markets. They call it “Yarrrrrrrbitrage.”
- High-tech trading interface that’s been vastly improved from a previous version.
- Chat feature for traders on the web platform
- They launched a help center in March 2018 to deal with customer issues, which was a long time coming but is a sign they are planning to be around for the long haul.
- Cryptopia says they’re hiring more support staff to handle the increasing number of users on its platform. This is a pro because they attributed some of the problems they’ve had in providing customer support to a staff shortage.
- The exchange is targeting 48-hour wait times for urgent customer service requests
Disadvantages of Cryptopia
- Trading is all cryptocurrency driven, so there aren’t any USD pairs or other fiat money trading pairs.
- Users have a habit of getting conned by scamsters on this trading platform
- High deposit fees. One user explained having sent nearly 3.5 ETH to Cryptopia and being charged USD 500 for the deposit. The same user had a stuck withdrawal for IQT and even after two weeks of submitting a support ticket received no response.
- Low trading volume compared to major bitcoin exchanges
- Major delays have been known to occur on the Cryptopia exchange. Withdrawals can be delayed anywhere from 30 hours to more than 30 days. The issue typically surrounds a coin’s wallet and when the digital wallet goes down, they must manage the transactions manually.
- Flawed ticketing system for customer support, which the help center is also tasked with addressing.
- The exchange has suffered issues surrounding forked coins, such as ZClassic in which withdrawals became “stuck”
- Numerous users have reported issues with the Electroneum (ETN) wallet including problems with both deposits and withdrawals. Deposits aren’t arriving to the wallet and withdrawals are getting stuck. These issues were occurring in earnest in March 2018.
Security at Cryptopia
Cryptopia promotes 2FA, which is an added layer of security protection to guard the account in the event a hacker knows the password. They recommend dynamic codes such as those offered by Google and Cryptopia authenticators. As a result, users get a new code with each and every account log-in. The Google Authenticator is a mobile app that can be linked to a Cryptopia account. They have other options as well, including emailing codes and security questions.
In a post on the company’s blog, CEO Alan Booth acknowledged that they’ve observed an increase in the number of phishing attacks and scams on the site. He urged users to review their accounts and make sure they have the most secure features in place. Two-factor authentication is one of the more obvious
In March 2018, users were reporting instances of failed attempts to log into their accounts.
The Cryptopia exchange posted this message on its Twitter page –
One of the common phishing attacks used against Cryptopia is a fraudulent URL. Instead of https://www.cryptopia.co.nz, the bad actors are using URLs that end in .com, .wx and .cx, something for users to look out for. Booth recommends bookmarking the real Cryptopia exchange website.
Other security measures that users can take including creating lengthy user passwords and to change it often.
Unfortunately, users were reporting stolen funds on the Cryptopia forum in March 2018. These users said they didn’t receive a transaction email, yet the funds seemingly went missing from their accounts. Another user claims to have had funds stolen through API, a feature they said was disabled at the time. Adding insult to injury is the amount of time that it’s taking support to handle these tickets, which can sit anywhere from days to many weeks.
One user on the platform provided the following help to fellow traders –
- Cryptopia offers no support number, so if you see one it’s a fraud
- The exchange doesn’t have a formal mobile app
- The exchange doesn’t support bots
- They don’t offer two-factor authentication by SMS
While the above scenarios may make users feel helpless, their best bet is to reach out to support through the following link: https://www.cryptopia.co.nz/UserSupport. Just be prepared to wait.
There fees don’t appear to be very transparent. They appear to have had a withdrawal fee in place of 0.002 BTC, which was comparatively high versus other bitcoin exchanges. But according to user forums, that fee was reduced to 0.001 BTC in 2018, which makes a big difference and appears to be more in line with other small exchanges, such as Poloniex. Whether or not it makes sense to trade here may depend if you plan to do large transactions.
Forum users provided the following fee structure for other coins –
- 0.005 ETH
- 0.01 DASH
- 0.01 ETC
- 0.0002 ZEC
- 0.02 LTC
The web interface is high-tech and simple to navigate. The site has many of the features a trader would expect, and user forums concerningly tout the platform for its ability to perform “pump and dump” trades. There are convenient features, such as once your account is funded in BTC, for example, you can “hide zero balances” and only see a list of favourites, which could include wallets that have been funded.
Cryptopia wants to be an all-in-one shop for BTC, which may be a sign that they are doing too much. But users applaud the company’s marketplace platform, which is a place where they can use their bitcoin from the BTC wallet to make purchases on the site. It’s unclear if the purchases are made from merchants or other users on the platform.
A trader recommends making buy and sell transactions from the buy/sell order box rather than inserting the “buy” or “sell” transaction boxes. The reason being that you’re more likely to get the most attractive price from selecting one of the actual orders that’s taking place on the exchange. It should reflect the best price at that time, and by clicking it the information is automatically sent to the buy/sell box for you.
Here’s the video that breaks it down –
Cryptopia has website visitors from across the world including the United States, Russia, India, Ukraine and the UK, according to Alexa.com.
Customer service issues
There also seems to be a problem with customer service and ticket response times, with some users left waiting on edge for days before their funds finally arrive in their wallet. When Cryptopia does respond to a ticket, they remain hopeful by assuring users that the exchange is run by “very good people” and any seemingly lost coins will be found. Fingers crossed.
And while that may be true, certain problems that users run into can be avoided. For instance, one trader posted on the Cryptopia forum, reminding users to check the status of a coin’s wallet before attempting to make deposits or withdrawals. Otherwise, if the wallet is in “maintenance” status, the transaction will become disabled. If the wallet status is OK, go for it.
Other delay reasons
Other wallet-fueled delays could include delays stemming from the transaction block height and the wallet block height. If there’s a disconnect in the numbers, the wallet may be lagging, and transactions could take longer.
API & Mobile App
The Cryptopia exchange has both a public and private API. Users have complained about delays surrounding adding Cryptopia API to Coinigy. There doesn’t appear to be an official Cryptopia trading app.
If you’re going to trade on the Cryptopia exchange, do so at your own risk. This trading platform is riddled with issues not to mention reports of high fees in comparison to most small exchanges. Traders who are on the platform should remain on their guard, as this site is a frequent target of phishing scams and other attacks.
While the CEO has pledged to resolve the customer service issues, this undoubtedly will take time. Investors may be better off avoiding this platform until they have the technology infrastructure, staff and support in place to handle the demand.
If you are going to trade on Cryptopia, you may be better off sticking to the most widely used coins, such as ETH, BTC, LTC and DOGE, which the exchange says are transacting properly. The problem is one of the key reasons traders flock to the Cryptopia exchange is for access to some of the lesser known coins that other exchanges don’t support. It’s a vicious cycle.